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Gender difference in support for democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do social institutions matter?

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  • Konte, M.

    () (UNU-MERIT)

Abstract

Little investigation has been made to explain why women are less likely than are men to support democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa. This gender difference in politics has been found in numerous studies and may hinder the much needed legitimation of democracy in this region. This paper addresses the question of whether this observed gender gap is due to the omission of social institutions related to gender inequality, something that affects womens daily life and deprives them of autonomy at home. We hypothesize that women who live under autocracy at home are less likely to support democracy outside, because it does not affect their private life; this follows the idea that the way women are treated in a society might have major implications for the economic, social, and political functioning of that society. We find that the gender difference in support for democracy is no longer significant after we control for gender discrimination in the Family Code, in physical integrity or in civil liberties. This study also provides evidence that women living in countries with favorable laws toward women are more supportive of democracy than women who do not, suggesting that democratic regimes may be more willing than are authoritarian regimes to protect laws friendly to women.

Suggested Citation

  • Konte, M., 2014. "Gender difference in support for democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do social institutions matter?," MERIT Working Papers 009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2014009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Boris Branisa & Carolina Cardona, 2015. "Social Institutions and Gender Inequality in Fragile States: Are They Relevant for the Post-MDG Debate?," Southern Voice Occasional Paper 21, Southern Voice.
    2. Konte, Maty, 2016. "The effects of remittances on support for democracy in Africa: Are remittances a curse or a blessing?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 1002-1022.
    3. Williams, Kevin, 2017. "Do remittances improve political institutions? Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 65-75.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Support for democracy; gender economics; gender difference; social institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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